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The community which has been chosen is the African Diaspora community living in Australia. African communities came to Australia through humanitarian and non-humanitarian programs as migrants and refugees. African communities in Australia came from South Africa, Sudan and Kenya parts of Africa. They faced many issues including unemployment, violence and discriminations, and unawareness of legal rights. The essay is a case study based on community. The essay, at first, puts forth an understanding of the community, its people, strengths that the community possesses and discusses the power vested in them. Further, it identifies their socio-demographic characteristics, population and location where the community is stationed and the issues faced by them, have been evaluated and analyzed. The goal of the community is social justice and human rights reinstating has been presented in the essay and efforts made by them in this regard have been discussed. Further, the roles and responsibilities of community development worker being facilitative, educational, etc. have been discussed. The principles of community building and consciousness-raising have been analyzed guiding his efforts. The strategies and process adopted by him making use of different perspectives of power and diversity to get support of African community for their upliftment have been highlighted. The conclusion presents the crux of the entire study.
African Diaspora communities have been growing in Australia over the past few years. They had come to Australia primarily through two routes, first as migrants by the family reunion and skill programs of Australia, and second by, the humanitarian program as refugees. A population census conducted in 2006, presented an approximate 250,000 Africa-born people residing in Australia and this number has been increasing ever since. As far as their origin is concerned, the majority of Africans residing in Australia came from South Africa, followed by Sudan and then Kenya. Most of these people were either migrants who came to Australia through the skill and family stream, non-humanitarian programs, and refugees, whose entry pass to Australia was the Humanitarian program which considered the settlement of African refugees onshore (Parliament of Australia, 2020).
The strength of this community is its vast population residing in Australia. As per statistics, in 2006, 5.6% of Australia’s overseas-born population consisted of Africans, which were 248,699 in number. Also, the African Diaspora accounts for a whole 1% on the entire Australian population. Africans have established a foothold for themselves to live and grow in the Australian regions and over 2,500 Africans, taking part and representing Africa, in a 50 national conferences and community meets across Australia, accounts for the assets and strengths possessed by them (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010).
The post-war boom period in Australia faced massive shortages of skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled workers, which was fulfilled by the African migrants. The non-humanitarian program consisting of skills and family reunion had for, the spouse and dependent children of Africa living in Australia, talent and business skills development program. 3.6% of Australian health workforce consisted of people born in Africa as of 2006. In 2005, there were 108 African males for every 100 African females arriving in Australia. Majority of the African population in Australia was aged between 25-34 in 2005. High levels of unemployment were persisting between them, when they came to Australia, with those employed were mainly occupation in intermediary clerks and professionals with most of them having diploma degrees (Hugo, 2010).
Issues faced by African communities of Australia were unemployment, cumbersome dealing with the traumatic history of violence and sufferings through the loss of friends and family, role of genders in families challenged along with family structure, lack of ability to understand legal rights when they face racism, or discrimination, scarcity of available accommodation on rent, lack of healthcare facilities and political situations (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010).
The goal chosen by the African community living in Australia is addressing of social justice and human rights issues within the community. Child protection and family law is an alarming concern among African Australians, which stresses the need for child protection agencies. Next issue of social justice is lack of proper legal assistance, the African Australian community faced major concerns engaging with justice system of Australia and understanding their relationship with law agencies as well as unawareness of their rights, because of this they are not able to navigate the system. The African community is working to get support from culturally appropriate liaison officers, raising awareness through legal education and working with leaders to get justice on relevant legal issues. Employment and training are another human rights’ this community has been fighting for in the form of engaging career counsellors to advisory groups to generate protocols for the education of African Australians and working with the private sector to get major employers to help provide jobs and training for their community members (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2011).
This will be beneficial to the African community living in Australia, as this will help them to fulfil the requirements of characteristics of community development which are community building, consciousness-raising, participation and integrity. Fighting for human rights will help the African community building and help build trust, reciprocity, and diversity. Consciousness-raising may be accomplished through identification of oppression and joining others to challenge it, calling for them to take actions against it and getting help from others. Integrity to handle issues of racism and caste discrimination, generating capacity and will power in African Australians to realize their potential capacity and work together to fight back the rights. Further, the participation of all affected by the denial of human rights in the decision-making process and making constructive use of their opinions can be ensured.
The principles which might guide a community development worker are inclusiveness, collaboration, community building, equity, responsiveness, consciousness-raising, integrity and people’s participation. Inclusiveness, this includes providing the community with opportunities to participate in information collection, planning, setting objectives and decision-making and other outcomes which may have a significant impact on community development and its process. Collaboration, establishing relationships, alliances and partnerships to achieve positive, moral results for the entire community and its members (City of Casey, 2020).
Capacity building, this will help provide support to all the African Australian community families, children and other individual members, to find out their needs, and issues and problems they are facing in Australia, and suggest solutions to resolve them. This principle would make use of empowerment of Africans in action, involving advocacy, generating awareness in the community through education and training and equitable distribution of available resources to all individuals and segments of the community. Equity, to make sure that all opportunities for community are discrimination-free and equitable. Responsiveness will develop practices and methodologies as per the evolving nature of the community, identifying needs and addressing them promptly. Consciousness Raising to gather people from the African community and raise voice against discrimination (City of Casey, 2020).
Facilitative roles and skills of a community development worker are building consensus among the community members, community building through raising voice for community issues and upliftment, providing support in every manner possible in the form of resources. Group facilitation by collaborating the efforts of all the members to fight back for rights, making optimal utilization of abilities, skills and resources in the most constructive manner and employing best methods of communication which eases the process of negotiations and mediations (Amberfh, 2016).
Educational roles and skills of the community development worker include Consciousness-raising, this is the method of identifying oppression by the community and naming it to enable the support from more community members and people to challenge the problem and take action against it. Informing the community members of African Australian community about the legislations and needs in the context of Australia to build their awareness. This would be done through training and education programs which facilitate learning and development of African communities in Australia (Smart, 2017).
Representational roles and skills of community development which must be undertaken by a worker are identification and procurement of essential resources which are needed to conduct programs and events for the welfare of the African community of Australia. Advocacy, which means gathering support and cooperation from the public on community development practices for upliftment of African community in Australia. Making best use of different mediums for maintaining public relations and presenting the concerns of the community to them effectively and efficiently. This would require the community development worker to establish relationships and partnerships through employment of best networking practices (Ife, 2016).
Technical roles and skills which the community development work must be equipped with are research, he must conduct thorough research through various online sources, books and journals to increase the stock of knowledge and come up with policies and practices to be undertaken for community development. He must make productive use of information technology to get all processes and activities in one place. The community development worker must portray through verbal and written communication the blueprint/plan he has constructed for the development of African Australian community. Management of work and financial requirements must also be handled with the use of the latest technological solutions and services available with him (Australian government, 2020).
A community development worker might use these five steps to work with the African community of Australia. First, Community engagement, to succeed with the project for community development, he must have the support of the community from initiation, second leadership, he must formulate the plan for community development of Africans and lead teams to perform day to day tasks and activities go as per schedule, third, collaboration, the worker must seek collaboration from strong organizations and authorities in Australia for standing up for African Australians. Fourth, Evaluation, he must monitor the activities and undertake data-driven decision making. At last, he must adapt and show resilience to changing environment and work accordingly (St Louis fed, 2020).
The community development worker might use power’s pluralist perspective as the capability to achieve goals and influence the capacity of the African Australians to be included in the wider Australian society and to get their rights reinstated. Elite perspective of power accounts the utilization of strategic alliances with strong political presence in Australia to help in the upliftment of the African community living in Australia. Structural perspective guides the worker to challenge the structure of oppression and resistance prevalent in Australia through liberalization and critiquing the state of power (As per the study). The worker might also make use of diversity, to gather the African Australians community members from belonging from different origins such as South Africa, Sudan and Kenya, all individuals and families to identify their needs and get a bigger perspective and support to build the community.
The essay has put forth the profile and interests of the African community Diaspora living in Australia, which consists of people from South Africa, Sudan, Kenya and other parts of Africa who came as migrants and refugees to Africa through different humanitarian programs. It addresses the goal of African community to fight for social justice and human rights and discusses the efforts by Africans in the form of legal education to bring awareness. The last section of the essay describes that the community development worker would take up the principles of community building, consciousness-raising and others to guide him and he would be playing facilitative, representational roles and exhibiting skills through the utilization of strategies and processes to achieve goals. He will also make constructive use of pluralist, elite and structural perspectives of power and diversity to get support from the African community and accomplish goals for their upliftment.
Amberfh. (2016). Global community development exchange. Retrieved from https://globalcommunitydevelopmentexchange.org/2016/07/27/chapter-roles-and-skills-1-facilitative-and-educational-jim-ife/
Australian Government. (2020). Community workers. Retrieved from https://joboutlook.gov.au/occupations/occupation?occupationCode=411711
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2010). African Australians. Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/african-australians
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2010). In our own words- African Australians: A review of human rights and social inclusion issues. Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/projects/our-own-words-african-australians-review-human-rights-and
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2011). Human Rights issues affecting African-Australian Communities. Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/publications/human-rights-issues-affecting-african-australian
Hugo, G. (2010). Migration between Africa and Australia: A demographic perspective (2010). Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/african-australians-project-migration-between-africa-and-australia-demographic-perspective
Ife, J. (2016). Community development in an uncertain world. Retrieved from https://www.cambridge.org/highereducation/books/community-development-in-an-uncertain-world/21437D01AF194D7900F4273E255F94A5#CBO9781316342855A089
Parliament of Australia. (2020). Chapter 8 Africans in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Completed_Inquiries/jfadt/africa%2009/report/chapter8
Smart, J. (2017). What is community development? Retrieved from https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/what-community-development#:~:text=Community%20development%20practitioners%20support%20community,and%20resources%20that%20are%20available.
St. Louis Fed. (2020). Community development. Retrieved from https://www.stlouisfed.org/~/media/files/pdfs/community-development/comingupwithmoney/launching_successful_community_development_initiative.pdf?la=en
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